Friday, March 29, 2013

my buddha baby turns 8

brotherly love

what i felt the moment i first held my first baby, our miracle Owen, are almost indescribable
a rush of breath
a new beat to my heart
a new meaning to life
a softening of my nature
for the first time, i can truly say that i caught a glimpse into the love my Father in Heaven has for me as his child
i worried throughout my second pregnancy that i wouldn't know how or couldn't possibly love another child as much as i loved my first
how could it be possible
yet in that first moment i held sweet little Eyan, eight years ago today, i understood and felt what my Mom had repeatedly reassured me
that my capacity to love would grow and grow
i again caught a glimpse into how our Heavenly Father could love each of us
for we are each his child
and His capacity to love is endless

black and white portraits of EyanEyan was just what Mike and I had prayed for
a Buddha Baby
our Baby Sunshine
he was the happiest, most content baby you ever did see
his twinkling almond shaped eyes
dimpled cheeks
rolls upon rolls
and calm nature
was instantly endearing

my buddha baby
Eyan my buddha baby

he and Owen have been best buds from the beginning
Eyan happily meshing into the identity and interests of his big brother
it has only been in the last year or so that his own likes and interests have emerged
having been content for so long in just doing and loving what his older brother did and loved

as i stated in my recent post of Eyan's pre-baptism photo shoot
he is a gentle soul
he is the soft hand on my shoulder when i begin to raise my voice
a reminder i asked him to give me
and he remembers
he remembers

i depend on him
because he is dependable
i am so grateful for this happy soul in our family
happy eighth birthday to my continuous sunshine

Eyan and Owen brotherly love
black and white portraits of Owen and Eyan

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dye-ving Easter Eggs

dye-ving easter eggs

i want to look that cute when i go snorkeling
long eyelashes and all
when i saw these a few years back in our highly anticipated family fun magazine
i knew we had to go dye-ving
thanks to friends who helped me collect water bottle caps
our dip was a success
come on, can eggs get any snazzier

dye-ving easter eggs
easter egg coloring

egg dye
white eggs, hard boiled
permanent marker
3/4" round white adhesive labels
1" wide water bottle lids
small rubber bands
glue gun
flexible straws
self-adhesive foam
bowls or cups
willing dye-vers

we loved this take on traditional egg dyeing
we are after all 'dye' hard fans of straws in this household
any opportunity to take our straw loving to a new level is welcome

for full directions and flipper template see article here

dye-ving easter eggs

the boys loved playing with their eggs
dye-v dye-v dye-v
there may have been a few casualties
but we strongly recommend these dye-ving dudes and dudettes to bring much play and giggles to your Easter holiday tradition

Tate dye-ving his easter egg
Tate easter egg coloring
Tate's diver eggs
Eyan's easter egg ideas

Monday, March 25, 2013

eyan's pre-baptism photo shoot: a boy, his scriptures, and mother nature

Eyan baptism photo shoot

my little Eyan is getting baptized this coming week
he is a gentle soul
he is the soft hand on my shoulder when i begin to raise my voice
a reminder i asked him to give me
and he remembers
he remembers

Eyan baptism into our faith

he is a fierce competitor when it comes to sports and games of any sort
he likes to win
he loves hockey
and checks the game stats and standings first thing when he wakes up

Eyan LDS baptism invitations

i love this sweet age of eight
budding curiosity 
innocence preserved
a closeness to spiritual matters
expanding knowledge of the world around them
heightened ability to decipher what is right and what is wrong
a world in black and white
mom is still a beacon of truth

it is at this age that our faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opens the window for baptism
to demonstrate our willingness to obey his commandments and follow Christ's example
it is at this age in which children know enough about right and wrong that they can begin to be held accountable for their choices
such concepts of grand weight that it takes men a lifetime to understand and practice
but if you ask Eyan about, he can explain in a way only a nearly eight year old heart could
these are all things you pray that as a mother you have taught your child
and have kept your motherly promise to do as Hannah in the Old Testament, to give him to the Lord all the days of his life

i am so delighted by the young man he is growing up to be
and grateful to have captured his soothing personality in these photos

Eyan looking back on trail
Eyan's cute dimples
Eyan outdoor portrait photography
Eyan baptism photography
looking down on Eyan reading scriptures
Eyan pre-baptism photo shoot
Eyan baptism photography
Eyan lds baptism invitations

Thursday, March 21, 2013

today is daddy's birthday

today is my daddy's birthday
a young 58 he would have been
i always loved having my birthday right next to his
he and i were even born in the same hospital
oh hospitals...such a dichotomy of life paths

last year he was in the hospital for his birthday
my daddy
the most kind patient that hospital has ever seen
they loved him and cared for him
he always had a smile on his face no matter the poking or prodding that was being done
he laughed and made others feel at ease
he is my champion
my hero
life without his counsel, without his phone calls, without his funny faces, without his quiet example
just isn't the same
i am tremendously grateful that i have felt his presence close to me many times since his passing
and have felt his love and guidance through the kindness of others

because of my belief in the eternal nature of souls
this separation does not seem finite
it is a new feeling i am becoming accustomed to
a sense of him being on an extremely extended trip
a temporary separation
but i'm ready for it to be over
i'm ready for him to walk through that front door and yell 'AY-O' like he always did

last year we wanted daddy to feel of our love even though he was separated from us
because of the nature of his condition and the floor on which he stayed
the grandchildren were not able to all go up and see him
we decided upon a parking lot display of love and song

each grandchild held a balloon
they missed grandpa and most didn't quite understand why we couldn't just go up to see him
the older ones who had a better concept of time understood that grandpa had been in and out of the hospital many times and that he was sick
felicity only 2 had realized it as well, calling the hospital 'grandpa's house' which stabbed at my heart to hear

the kids were happy to be able to be together and do something for grandpa's birthday
for many children, birthdays are the most important event of the year
or at least the most talked about one in our house
they plan them from the day after their birthday to the day of

we gathered in the parking lot below his room
our brightly colored balloons blowing in the breeze
the grandkids holding their banner decorated with outlined handprints and colored in words reading
'happy birthday grandpa'
we called grandma who was beside him in his room and put the phone on speaker so he could hear our birthday song
although we could not see him behind the heavily tinted windows and glare of the bright sun
we knew he was there looking down upon us
face turned red
fighting to hold back tears with that face we know so well
nurses also stood there touched by our family's love
they knew this man was loved, adored, revered 
that they must have known

all of this happened in a matter of minutes
but as i look back on those few moments they speak to my grieving heart
and show me the reality of my todays

now as we are down below with our offerings of crayon sketches and shiny balloons
my daddy looks down upon us and smiles
though we can not see his face
i have not a single doubt that that is true
oh how i long to see his face
to walk and talk with him even in a dream if that is all i can have at this time

i pray that through our expressions of love for my Daddy
my children will hold such memories in their minds and hearts

happy birthday daddy

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

on turning 35

what can i say but wow
i remember 34 like it was just yesterday
and 30 like it was yesterday's yesterday

do i feel older
no i don't
do i feel old
no i don't
well maybe
ok a little...ish

but i probably am... in years that is
but i hope not in spirit

this past week i attended a group that i frequent regularly
there was a new member who was a darling young mom who was sitting alone
i introduced myself to her and asked if i could sit next to her
to which she smiled and agreed
we exchanged introductions for just a few moments before the meeting began
before i could pick up our conversation after the meeting ended, she began talking to a few other moms seated around us, all much younger than i
all with less laugh lines, less children, and without any grey hairs i'm sure
i picked up my stuff and left
i thought about that exchange
i know she meant no ill will of any kind
its just my own take on the scene

i came home and told mike about it
to which he replied: you are not as young as you think you are
that's exactly what i was thinking
i am older than i think
it kind of stinks sometimes to be the older established mother in a room full of younger mom's whose bodies managed to regain their former glory so quickly

this is not my first encounter with feeling like an old mom
nothing can top the day i officially felt old
almost four years ago
upon inviting a new neighbor at her doorstep to come with me to a mom's group i had joined
she proceeded to ask
'is this a group with lots of moms in their forties?'
i have to say i was taken aback by this
i later shredded the outfit i was wearing
read all the details here

but as i laugh at these encounters
i know that my spirit is young
my creativity is heightened
my desire to learn continues to thrive
my fear of doing new things has diminished
i still never pass up an opportunity to dance
my joy i am taking in my four children and their growing stages
the new part of my path i see ahead of me
the beauty i am drawn to and which surround me

i am young
gonna set the world on fire
i'm gonna burn brighter
than the sun

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

a lovely word from our sponsor: jennalou designs

feeling a little starstruck in introducing my new friend and first sponsor
the ever so talented Jenna Lou of
she is the real deal 
a self made woman
who over the past 7 years has transformed her small etsy shop to a full-on production team
i've seen her studio sewing machines
they mean business
i'm sure you have seen her banners on your favorite blogs and wedding sites
she is legit

i was so privileged to have met her at the 
Be Crafty Workshop in Minnesota
{see part one of my trip here}
as you can immediately see from her photos
she has a warm glow about her
and the most perfect skin i have ever seen
she has been a true supporter of the changes i am trying to make and has been helping me along the way

meet THE



I’m a stitcher, gardener, baker, crafter, tree-hugger, entrepreneur, homemaker and a Southern Minnesotan girl who fell in love with sewing. My passion truly started when I was taught as a little girl to sew and slowly blossomed into a fulfilling full time career.
Jenna Lou Designs was started in 2006, specializing in handmade handbags and wallets. It started as a one woman show where I did everything from making my original designs, to cutting, to sewing, to constantly having an eye out for the best, most brilliant fabrics. High quality materials are just as important to me as the creativity put into each design. In 2011 after years of a growing business, I could no longer handle the workload alone so I expanded my team to a few of the most kind, gentle, supportive, and brilliant seamstresses I could find. They are fabulous and we make a pretty great team!
I greatly enjoy taking custom orders because it allows my customers to express their personalities and love the uniqueness of each order. My fabric gallery allows you to choose from hundreds of fabrics in every color imaginable to meet your individual style. You can start designing yours today by viewing the online fabric gallery.
Blessings, Jenna

i am having a lovefest over this brown leather bag with the tassel
Jenna is having her first sample sale 
head on over here to snag these and other purse, clutches, headbands, and scarves before they are gone
come see her shop here
and then read her blog here
lets show her some love from Sweet Dreams are Made of These
i know you'll just fall for her too

sneak peek: you'll soon be 'dash'ing

just a little sneak peek as to what has been keeping me up til the wee hours of the morning
so excited to reveal to you 
how this sweet little face is part of my new scenery

if you are not yet following me on instagram
now would be a great time to start
you won't want to miss out on any details
you'll be 'dash'ing soon

Friday, March 15, 2013

walking out the door with grace and snowman pjs

my alarm clock mercilessly went off at 6:00 am
it doesn't care that i was up til 12:52 am
returning emails
chatting with my friend with a heart of gold about my 35 for 35 Night of sewing baby blankets and her own cause she is courageously championing
i may have squeezed in a little 'history of rap' with jimmy fallon and j t

i roll over to kneel in prayer and fall in and out of sleep
i put on my house socks and head downstairs to read my scriptures
i drift in and out whilst reading then decide that reading them aloud may be better served
little feet come downstairs and join me under my warm blanket
i let us divert from our regular routine and allow them to eat breakfast before getting dressed
and so a lot of diverging follows
until 8:15 sneaks up on us and we are racing to leave for school
i make peanut butter and jelly sandwich for one
peanut butter and honey for the other
in snowman pj pants i threw on a raincoat to try and camouflage in the drop off lane
and then race upstairs to my distraught child who still can't seem to find a pair of socks from pile of clean clothes
as i am exiting the door in my red and purple chevron socks
i am asking myself 'what am i doing'
'how do i think i could do this'
my mind was immediately filled with the thought
which i recognized as wise and divine
'you are going through a lifestyle change'
'give yourself some grace'
wow i was so grateful for those thoughts
with an immediate change of mood and big sigh of grace i hopped in my daddy's car to rush the kids to the school gate before it locks
i am going through a lifestyle change
and in part i chose this one
to help lighten the burdens of my incredibly hard working, never complaining, duty proud and bound husband
i have been asking for some time if i could help him in providing financial assistance for our family
he has dismissed this idea every time
mainly to not have to place additional burdens upon my already weighed down shoulders
but as i have thought through this, and actually through writing it down to my friend - as so much epiphanies come- that in actuality me helping to provide for our family will make my burdens lighter in that i will be able to do something to help
i have been praying for many many months about how to help him
how to help our family
where my time is best spent
what my role is
am i to take on a new role

for now i feel like i am to
i am pressing forward with my ideas and impressions and know that if this is to be my path that things will open up for me
and if not i will be warned
i know that uneasy warning feeling well as i have shared with you about having to walk away from the wheel in pursuing a past business venture
so as my life has been thrown into a rock tumbler
you know that machine that you put jewelry or gems into to rub off all the rough edges
that is how i am feeling right now
that piece of silver that is amidst a container full of stones
new rocks
the rock of new schedules
added expectations
new collaboration partners

thrown in along with the familiar ones that i still get hammered by
time management
cleaning routines
making dinner
feeling enough of an intentional mother
a selfless wife
round and round we go
each stone rubbing into me, shaving off a rough edge here and there

i am so grateful for the flood of strength i feel this morning
for the grace and patience i am lending myself this morning
the grace that only comes through the lifting power of my Savior
this power is familiar to me
and i pray that you will come to recognize it too
but be mindful it comes with experiences that require you needing to be lifted
i have felt him carry me many times before
i can feel so now

i am once again on a new part of my path
the scenery has changed
the destination is the same
my companions remain

i am excited to soon share with you my new scenery and path
you being here today is helping me along the way

Thursday, March 14, 2013

an unhurried day: felicity is princess for a day, her birthday that is

amidst the hustle and bustle that is life
days of an unhurried nature are the fresh air of living
i am so grateful that i made a point to let Felicity's birthday be that kind of day
granted having my van's transmission go out leaving me car-less forced me to slow down 
but making her day, her day was intentional
and i am rather proud of myself for not answering email, having my post for the day scheduled previously, not feeling pressured to clean or get something domestic done
we just played and played

started the day with a little present opening
i have been saving this beautiful joyfolie dress for just such an occasion

side trip to drop of the van to the repair shop, yippee
and then a breakfast pink sprinkle donut with coco {her little doggie} and cousin abigail

later she
struggled with sharing a bit
played the keyboard demo a bigillion times
i repeatedly asked for another song but she was set on this high pitched twangy melody
later on her song requests were
niece dadidad {feliz navidad}
the twelve days of christmas {muppets edition}
gandalph style {our chosen alternative to gangnum style}

she heavily anticipated our trip to the park when her brothers got home from school
our car-less day continued with a walk/bike/scooter ride to the park

found some shade for cousin sack races
always a favorite with the kiddos
it was ridiculously too hot for March

tired jumpers needed water and rest
quite the resemblance on the cup sketches 

Owen was so proud of his game he created for Felicity
pin the wand on the princess
continuing our low key birthday with mom's sweater turned blindfold

oh, did i mention that i made cupcakes
pink ones actually
cupcakes and presents followed
necklace from cousins
tea set, which she now calls glass picnic, from me
i was so impressed with how dainty she was with her glass picnic set
only 2 pieces down so far

what goes up must come down
or in our case
what goes down must come up
up, up, up the hill
back home
i had a cute view huffing it though

home at last for some tea in the front lawn
wintermint anyone?
my baby is 3 and i cannot believe it
i do love how she does have some baby left in her face
although its fading fast

so happy to have had an unhurried day 
a birthday day of play
i will definitely be needing more of those on a regular basis


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